CHINA: THE WRENCH IN THE MACHINE
Using Rander’s brilliant and thorough book “2052”, in which he explains our profound predicament; how we got there; and the possible ways we can avoid a mass extinction in this century, China can, by itself, ruin the efforts of the rest of the World. His conclusion, which has the support of every climatology research center in the world, is that Global Warming is not only real, but our species is totally responsible for the Global Warming, by burning Fossil Fuels in a hectic and unrestrained manner, and we have little time to change our economies world wide into SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIES, before the global warming becomes unstoppable, and a mass extinction will occur in this century. The trigger point is estimated to be 2.8 degrees F; and we already have reached 1.0 degrees from burning Fossil Fuels. There is a delay in the burning and its effect on the global temperature. So, even if we stopped burning tomorrow, the already burned Fossil Fuels will carry us to 1.6 degrees (an approximation). We will leave our children the near impossible task of turning around the warming process in approximately 1.5 generations. However, it can be done. One key factor is how early the world's government and large corporations "get on board" by injecting an enormous investment in changing how we use Fossil Fuels, and developing sustainable economies. The earlier the better.
Convincing the Chinese to get on board early in governmental efforts to reduce the damage caused by burning fossil fuels (that is the sole cause of Global Warming that threatens to produce Global extinction) will require some brilliant diplomacy.
China’s current leader is highly capable and his sole goal is to become the United States of the 21st century. He also feels it should be done economically the same way that the U.S. did it: by using fossil fuels to power industrial expansion. He might be able to surpass the United States in GNP, while leaving the Chinese people in a crowded, horribly polluted environment.
What he does not understand is that America was not the world leader solely because of industrial might. The government, the greatest experiment in governance in the history of our species, provided freedom that allowed individuals to pursue happiness without harming others. America has been the place to which people from all over the World have longed to migrate for over three centuries.
Is there any such worldwide passion to immigrate to China ? In fact, it is just the opposite. Being sent to or captured by the Chinese is viewed as a sentence to hell.
America’s innovation and creativity has been fueled by the constant immigration of the best and the brightest from all over the World.
Ever since the Nobel Prize Award started, Americans have won 95% of the awards in the sciences. This cycle cannot be broken because there is too much historical momentum. The best scientists from around the World have always wanted to come to American universities to do their major work because our universities create and atmosphere most conducive to research. Research in American universities is well-funded which leads to scientific breakthroughs that, in turn, lead to technological progress as engineers apply the new understanding from basic science research resulting in more advanced products. Another drawing-point for foreign students is the opportunity to work with other Nobel Prize winners.
A yearly sophisticated assessment of the World’s universities always shows the same results: of the 8000 quality institutions, 4500 are in the U.S. Of the top 20,
18 are in the U.S. ( The others which are Oxford and Cambridge are in England and have a long history of cooperation with U.S. universities.) As an example, the battle to discover the structure of the DNA molecule was an intense drama between Linus Pauling, who already had 2 Nobel prizes, and Watson and Crick on the English side.
The Brits won the race by the narrowest of margins. The details of this intellectual “battle” make for some fine reading.
Now, where do the Chinese enter this picture ? They have been sending their best students to America for training for the same reasons that other countries do : the best training is here. Even though this has been a targeted goal for decades, when the Chinese return home there are still no institutions that compare with where they studied in America. Part of the reason is that China has a long tradition of secrecy. The lack of freedom of speech profoundly hampers the development of American-style (the best in the World) research centers.
Thus, if the Chinese leaders persist on continuing to recklessly burn fossil fuels in an attempt to overtake the United States economically, the American President has “an ace in the hole”, so to speak. Simply put it is that China must stop burning fossil fuels recklessly or we will suspend student visas from China. This would leave the Chinese “out in the cold.” Just name one Chinese-designed and built technology that is among the leaders in that field. There are none. Thus, the Chinese economic development will suddenly stop. Their success thus far has been to copy U.S., Japanese, and European technologies and build them cheaper because of cheap labor. The Chinese people will not tolerate this inequality of wages forever.
Simply put, if the Chinese persist in playing diplomatic hardball by threatening to dump their trillion dollars of U.S. Treasury Bonds on the Market. It is similar to the Cold War standoff with nuclear weapons meaning mutual self-destruction.
If they bring the U.S. economy down, China will come down with it !
Threaten them with denial of student visas. They have no effective counter for this proposed action. Frankly, I do not understand why other political writers have not made this an issue.
This is the age of the generalist who focuses on the big picture, not the sub-specialist who does not see it at all.
A gentleman and a scholar,